September 11, 1950 (21st Parliament, 3rd Session)


Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Mr. Abbott:

It is almost impossible to
do that in the case of indirect controls. You put them in, but you cannot measure their effect. You know that they have some effect, but it is not like giving an order to a man not to go down the street. You block the street, and he cannot go down. In the case of fiscal measures, and in the case of measures such as this, it is agreed that they are effective, but it is not possible to measure in advance just what the effect will be. This afternoon I gave some figures showing the shrinkage in instalment sales between 1941 and 1945, but even that of itself does not conclusively prove that that represented an absolute reduction in sales. There may have been other factors entering into it. There may have been Changes in prices or a greater amount of cash available; all that sort of thing. All that one can say is that all persons who are familiar with these things, economists and the like who are qualified to judge, do agree that measures of this kind have a definite anti-inflationary effect. It is really not possible to give any accurate figure as to just what the extent of that is.

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